This magazine is exceedingly fortunate in its art department. Not only do we have a gifted director in Richard Gangel, we have an exceptional pair of men backing him up.
Harvey Grut and Martin Nathan are the associate art directors of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and very old friends. They joined the staff before the magazine had even been named and worked side by side in the layout department until they were made associate art directors together—together because it was impossible to choose between them or even, by that time, to think of them separately. (Mrs. Nathan did manage to make a decision: she dated Harvey but married Martin.) For 14 years now Grut and Nathan have been answering to each other's name, a mistake even those of us who have known them the whole time sometimes make, since for most practical, and, God knows, all impractical purposes they are a single unit. Outsiders will never know the magic inherent in the words, "No, the art department is not back from lunch." Harvey Grut was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and raised there and in Grosse Pointe, Mich. amidst such splendors as cooks, housemen and Pierce-Arrows. Martin Nathan was born in Brooklyn and raised amidst such splendors as—well, the splendors Brooklyn has to offer. "When people ask, I tell them I'm from Nome, Alaska," Martin says, and he notes with interest that invariably he is the only person they have ever met from Nome.
Both Grut and Nathan attended Pratt Institute of Design, though at different times. During World War II Martin joined the U.S. Air Force and Harvey the U.S. Army. Harvey subsequently worked for McFadden Publications and Hearst Publications, and for a while had his own art agency until he came to this as yet unpublished magazine. Martin worked in advertising agencies before he joined our art department shortly after Harvey.
Grut took to the newcomer at once "because he obviously was rotten to the core. We began to have lunch together, and then we had hay fever together and, finally, we even had back trouble at the same time."
June 23, 1968
"Grut looked just the same then as he does now," Martin recalls gloomily, having himself acquired 20 new pounds over the intervening years. The added weight is partly because one of the things Martin does in his spare time is cook. Another thing he does is paint. "I paint seriously," he says, "and I have a fascination with photography. A knowledge of both is essential to this job, of course, but I have wanted to be an artist since the day I reached the age of reason—about 22. Actually, it has been as long as I can remember." Martin's other passion is fishing, particularly for striped bass. He makes a good part of his own fishing gear and pursues the bass earnestly, but when pressed for his greatest piscatorial triumph he says wistfully, "Well it's yet to come. I haven't really caught anything." (Note from Mrs. Nathan: "One day last month I came home and found 111 mackerel in the bathtub, waiting to be cleaned.")
As for Grut the fisherman, Harvey explains, "Nathan was so absolutely dedicated that he convinced me I should take it up too. So I became an ardent fisherman. Well, half ardent. No, I guess I really do like it." That, we submit, is friendship.